It’s amazing how many times this one children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, can be applied to real life. Starting on one project, which leads to a whole new, unplanned-for, project, happens to all of us. Despite our meticulous planning for renovating the space to become a bookstore, things creep up that we figure might as well do this now before furniture and books arrive.

Renovating the bathroom was completely unexpected. It originally was the ugliest of all the ugly bathrooms (think gas station bathroom), but I was willing to ignore it because we hadn’t planned on offering it as a public bathroom anyway. As long as it was clean, I was as okay with it as one can be with a Bodega Bathroom.


I saw this SNL skit a few weeks ago and yelled downstairs to my husband: “SNL did a skit about our bathroom!”

Just as renovations were starting, we made the decision to make the bathroom ADA-compliant, just so we wouldn’t be sued by anyone we took pity on and let them use the bathroom. That led to another while we’re at it moment. May as well make space for a future elevator.

So, now, you sit on the toilet and it takes you to the second floor.

I kid!

But wouldn’t that be fun?

After the wall and toilet were moved (still ADA-compliant, you bastards!), well…I just had to make it look like a cool bathroom, right? So, add that to my long to-do list.

This became The Bathroom That Required Two Doctor Visits and Vicodin.

Tiling, grouting, and wallpapering did me in. Aggravated a healing leg muscle injury that had me in tears last week. After taking a few days off, I’m ready to start painting the existing floor tile — because why not hurt myself one last time? — that’s what Vicodin is for. We didn’t want to go through the expense of ripping out the existing tile, so I played around with painting it to go with our Art Deco theme:


Every patron who comes into the bookstore is going to be asked if they have to tinkle and want to see our cool bathroom.

The painting: It just never ends. I never want to paint anything ever again. And I haven’t even been the one doing the bulk of the painting. Ross and Tom have been the chosen ones for most of it. And, of course, it has snowballed to more things. We originally were going to carpet the mezzanine office, but then I got the idea to paint the ugly floor white and do a harlequin stencil on top of that. It’s going to look cool, but it’s yet another task for me before we can put desks in there. I know. I know. I do it to myself. But it’s now or never to do it.

It’s hard to see the forest for the trees this week, even though I know we have made great progress from where we started. It’s just … the dust. It’s everywhere. I’m tired of feeling grimy. We’re coughing all the time because of it. I walked in the door the other day to see a layer of construction dust on the newly laid floor planks. Not our contractor’s fault. We’re putting the cart before the horse on probably every task we’ve done. We’re working concurrently with the contractors, just trying to get the bookstore open on time. Flooring probably should be last, but it’s going in now, and that’s just the way it is.

For the last month, the only running water we’ve had is from a disgusting bathroom in the basement. The contractors installed a line from the pipe for us to get water for construction needs. So, we traipse down there with buckets to siphon water and try to not spray it everywhere. Not that it would matter. That bathroom gives me the heebie-jeebies. It’s the kind of bathroom that men see no problem with because they don’t have to sit.


Now that our *real* bathroom toilet has been re-installed, in frustration last night with dust and dirt everywhere, I decided to glove-up and super-clean the main floor toilet so it looks brand-new. I just needed something to be clean in the space. Having a clean bathroom lifted my spirits so much. Granted, the contractor will be installing the sink today, so “clean” may be fleeting. But I had my Moment last night.

A good friend told me today that this is like having a baby. Right now, I’m in transition, and I need to throw up, push harder, then all I’ll feel is the euphoria of what we created.

She’s right.

Pushing harder.